Math....are your palms sweating yet? 😅Yep, I know. But you’ve asked for books that will enrich and enliven math for your kids, and we took on the challenge.

In today’s episode, the Read-Aloud Revival team is talking about delighting and learning math together through great read-alouds.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • why you might want to add math read-alouds to your day
  • how to add them in when you already feel pressed for time (no need to dump your existing curriculum!)
  • our favorites. Of course, right? And yes – we actually all have FAVORITE math picture books… can you believe it?

I also tackle a listener question about stopping to look something up when you’re reading aloud to your kids. Is it a good idea?

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Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

1:19Not just for homeschoolers
2:32Meet Sarah in 2020
3:28Question: Should we stop and research while reading aloud?
4:47Ideally and realistically
7:37The team tackles … MATH?!
9:08Making the abstract concrete
10:29Making math cozy
11:16Math anxiety
12:35The HOW
14:30Math role models
16:42Small commitments
17:18Team favorites
17:51Snowman – Cold = Puddle
20:23Lemonade in Winter
22:24365 Penguins
23:56The Lion’s Share
26:07‘A fun addition’
27:41Let the kids speak

Links from this episode:

Quotes to remember:

“Imagine your child’s start in math being on your lap or next to you on the couch as you share a story together. Or imagine being able to take a step back with your older child and really fall in love with shapes and patterns and numbers… and to do that together through stories.”

– Kortney Garrison

“Okay. That book was amazing.”

7-year-old Clara’s review of The Lion’s Share

Math Read-Alouds

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favorite math read-alouds

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Math Read-Alouds

Scroll down to see clickable book covers for every title on this list.

The best picture books to help your family delight in learning math together through read alouds.

Listen to our podcast episode on math picture books.

Feast for 10

Feast for 10

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

A counting book that features an African-American family shopping for food, preparing dinner, and sitting down to eat. Lively read-aloud text paired with bright collage illustrations.

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One Grain of Rice

One Grain of Rice

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Long ago in India, there lived a raja who believed that he was wise and fair. But every year he kept nearly all of the people's rice for himself. Then when famine came, the raja refused to share the rice, and the people went hungry. Then a village girl named Rani devises a clever plan.

 

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What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?

What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Children can test their math skills and learn the Pythagorean Theorem alongside young Pythagoras in this STEM adventure. Pythagoras' curiosity takes him from Samos to Alexandria, where he meets a builder named Neferheperhersekeper, who introduces him to the right angle.

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Pythagoras and the Ratios: A Math Adventure

Pythagoras and the Ratios: A Math Adventure

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Pythagoras and his cousins want to win a music contest, but first they must figure out how to play their instruments in tune, something that's never been done before.

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Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

The true story of eighteenth-century mathematician Sophie Germain, who solved the unsolvable to achieve her dream.When her parents took away her candles to keep their young daughter from studying math...nothing stopped Sophie.

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Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

As a young boy in medieval Italy, Leonardo Fibonacci thought about numbers day and night. He was such a daydreamer that people called him a blockhead.

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The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Most people think of mathematicians as solitary, working away in isolation. And, it's true, many of them do. But Paul Erdos never followed the usual path. At the age of four, he could ask you when you were born and then calculate the number of seconds you had been alive in his head.

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The Librarian Who Measured the Earth

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

This colorfully illustrated biography of the Greek philosopher and scientist Eratosthenes, who compiled the first geography book and accurately measured the globe's circumference, is just right for budding mathematicians, scientists, historians, and librarians!

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Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13

Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

As a child, Katherine Johnson loved to count. She counted the steps on the road, the number of dishes and spoons she washed in the kitchen sink, everything! Boundless, curious, and excited by calculations, young Katherine longed to know as much as she could about math, about the universe.

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Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

They participated in some of NASA's greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America's first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.

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3×4: TOON Level 1 (TOON Books)

3×4: TOON Level 1 (TOON Books)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Annemarie and her clever classmates have to draw sets of twelve and use their imagination to come up with creative solutions. Young readers will delight in the counting game while learning the basics of multiplication. Star cartoonist Ivan Brunetti’s ingenious and fun-to-read comic turns everyone into a math whiz!

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Anno’s Counting Book

Anno’s Counting Book

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Every child is a natural mathematician, according to Mitsumasa Anno. Children are constantly comparing and classifying things and events they observe around them. As they try to bring sense and order into what they observe, they are actually performing basic mathematical feats.

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Sir Cumference and the First Round Table

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Join Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter, and their son Radius for wordplay, puns, and problem solving in this geometry-packed math adventure. King Arthur was a good ruler, but now he needs a good ruler. What would you do if the neighboring kingdom were threatening war?

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Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar

Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

"Superbly demonstrating the conception of factorials in mathematics, the text and pictures combine to present a lesson in a palatable form as well as the pleasure of looking at pictures that only Mitsumasa Anno could invent." — Publishers Weekly"

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Anno’s Magic Seeds (Picture Books)

Anno’s Magic Seeds (Picture Books)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

A gift from a wizard makes Jack's fortune grow by ones and twos, then threes and fours, then faster and faster, challenging you to keep track of his riches.

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I’m Trying to Love Math

I’m Trying to Love Math

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Children's Choice Award winner Bethany Barton applies her signature humor to the scariest subject of all: math! Do multiplication tables give you hives? Do you break out in a sweat when you see more than a few numbers hanging out together?

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Spaghetti And Meatballs For All! (Scholastic Bookshelf)

Spaghetti And Meatballs For All! (Scholastic Bookshelf)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

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Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin (Charlesbridge Math Adventures)

Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin (Charlesbridge Math Adventures)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

It's been 10 years since the queen defeated Rumpelstiltskin and now he's back to collect his payment from years before. He causes a stir in the kingdom by making mischief with his multiplying stick and threatens to do far worse if the debt is not repaid.  It's up to Peter, the young prince, to take possession of the Rumpelstiltskin’s magical multiplying stick and learn how to use it—and multiply both whole numbers and fractions-- in order to restore peace to the kingdom.

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Pigeon Math

Pigeon Math

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Telling a story about pigeons should be simple. But what's a narrator to do when the number of feathered friends is constantly changing? Can our intrepid storyteller use math facts to keep up with the unstable quantities. . . or is this pigeon-centric tale doomed?

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Billions of Bricks: A Counting Book About Building

Billions of Bricks: A Counting Book About Building

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Two, four, six. Look at all the bricks!Grab a hard hat and all your tools, and get ready for a construction adventure in counting! This clever, rhyming picture book leads readers through a day in the life of a construction crew building with bricks.

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My Even Day (Arbordale Collection)

My Even Day (Arbordale Collection)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

In this delightful, rhythmic sequel to One Odd Day, the young boy awakens to find that it is another strange day now everything is even, and his mother has two heads! This time, a school field trip to the zoo is dealt with in an odd, but even-handed manner. And, like its predecessor, children will s...

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One Odd Day (Arbordale Collection)

One Odd Day (Arbordale Collection)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

One Odd Day is a humorous, rhythmic, read-aloud story about a boy who awakens to find that everything around him is odd. His shirt has three sleeves and his dog has five legs. . . Things are no better at school either. Will his odd day end when he goes to bed that night?

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Zero Is the Leaves on the Trees
365 Penguins (Reissue)

365 Penguins (Reissue)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

The penguins are back, in a new format and with a fresh new cover! The family in 365 Penguins finds a penguin mysteriously delivered to their door every day for a year. At first they’re cute, but with every passing day, the penguins pile up—along with the family’s problems.

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Infinity and Me (Carolrhoda Picture Books)

Infinity and Me (Carolrhoda Picture Books)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

When I looked up, I shivered. How many stars were in the sky? A million? A billion? Maybe the number was as big as infinity. I started to feel very, very small. How could I even think about something as big as infinity? Uma can't help feeling small when she peers up at the night sky.

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The Doorbell Rang

The Doorbell Rang

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Ma has made a dozen delicious cookies. It should be plenty for her two children. But then the doorbell rings - and rings and rings and rings.

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Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money

Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

A beautifully restrained tribute to trust and tenderness shared by siblings; an entrepreneurship how-to that celebrates the thrill of the marketplace without shying away from its cold realities; and a parable about persistence. --Publishers Weekly

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Two of Everything

Two of Everything

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

When old Mr. Haktak digs up a curious brass pot in his garden, he has no idea what use it can be. On his way home, Mr. Haktak decides to carry his coin purse in the mysterious pot. But when Mrs. Haktak's hairpin accidentally slips into the pot and she reaches in to retrieve it, the magic of the pot is revealed. Not only are there two hairpins inside, but there are also two purses!

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Equal Shmequal (Charlesbridge Math Adventures)

Equal Shmequal (Charlesbridge Math Adventures)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Mouse and her friends want to play tug-of-war, but they'll need to use some everyday math to figure out how to make teams that are equal. As Mouse looks at various solutions she is not sure what it means to be equal. Nothing works until Mouse starts to think about it mathematically and divides the teams based on weight. Wonderful illustrations capture Mouse and her animal friends from whiskers to tails as they work to measure and equalize their teams based on size, weight, and effort.

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7 Ate 9

7 Ate 9

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Everyone knows that 7 is always after him. Word on the street is that 7 ate 9. If that's true, 6's days are numbered. Lucky for him, Private I is on the case. But the facts just don't add up. It's odd. Will Private I put two and two together and solve the problem . . . or is 6 next in line to be subtracted?

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The Lion’s Share

The Lion’s Share

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

When Ant receives a special invitation to dine with Lion, she is ready to be on her best behavior. During dessert, the other guests do not mind their manners, and by the time the dessert cake reaches Ant, barely a crumb is left for her to share with the King!

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How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Mr. Tiffin’s Classroom Series)

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Mr. Tiffin’s Classroom Series)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Mr. Tiffin and his students explore skip counting and estimation in a fun pumpkin-themed classroom experiment! This book makes a wonderful read-aloud companion to any math or science curriculum, and it's a fun way to reinforce counting skills at home.

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The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague (Amazing Scientists)

The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague (Amazing Scientists)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades.

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The Warlord’s Alarm, A Mathematical Adventure

The Warlord’s Alarm, A Mathematical Adventure

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Chuan and Jing Jing use their mathematical skills to ensure that the warlord wakes up on time. They are traveling to the emperor's palace, and they can only sleep for four hours before resuming their journey in order to arrive as the emperor's gates open.

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A Remainder of One

A Remainder of One

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

When the queen of her bugs demands that her army march in even lines, Private Joe divides the marchers into more and more lines so that he will not be left out of the parade.

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One Hundred Hungry Ants

One Hundred Hungry Ants

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

One hundred hungry ants march off single file to sample a picnic, but when the going gets too slow, they divide into two rows of fifty, then four rows of twenty . . . until they take so long that the picnic is gone!

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Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations

Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Math meets metaphor in this eye-opening exploration of spring. Each clever equation is a tiny, perfect poem that prompts readers to look at the ordinary and see the miraculous. Can you look at an egg in a nest and see a jewelry box? How are sunlight and heat like an alarm clock? Engaging sidebars reveal the science behind the signs of spring.

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One Is a Snail, Ten is a Crab: A Counting by Feet Book

One Is a Snail, Ten is a Crab: A Counting by Feet Book

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

If one is a snail and two is a person, we must be counting by feet! Just follow the sign to the beach, where a bunch of fun-loving crabs, lounging dogs, gleeful insects, and bewildered-looking snails obligingly offer their feet for counting in a number of silly, surprising combinations -- from one to one hundred!

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How Much Is a Million? (Reading Rainbow Books)

How Much Is a Million? (Reading Rainbow Books)

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Mathematician David M. Schwartz and illustrator Steven Kellog join forces to knock complex numbers down to size, with some help from Mavelossissimo the Mathematical Magician. It's a math class you'll never forget.

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Millions to Measure

Millions to Measure

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

There are millions of things to measure . . . and almost as many ways to measure them!

 

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Math Curse

Math Curse

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Did you ever wake up to one of those days where everything is a problem? You have 10 things to do, but only 30 minutes until your bus leaves. Is there enough time? You have 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. Can you make 1 good outfit? Then you start to wonder: Why does everything have to be such a problem?

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Ten Flashing Fireflies

Ten Flashing Fireflies

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Luminous pictures and a buoyant, chant-aloud text, combine to make this two-way counting book as joyous and magical as catching fireflies on a summer night.

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Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes

Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

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Mouse Count

Mouse Count

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

In this charming companion to Mouse Paint, Ellen Stoll Walsh introduces the concept of counting forward and backward in a suspenseful story that will keep young readers guessing. “The rhythm follows the illustrations in a glissando; one can almost hear the background music.”--The Horn Book

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Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians

Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians

Series: Episodes, Episode 33, Book 1
Tag: Short Stories

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Introduce kids to the live of famous mathematicians like Pythagoras and Galileo.

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Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series)

Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series)

Author:
Series: Episodes, Math Read-Alouds, Book 1

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Bedtime Math wants to change all that. Inside this book, families will find fun, mischief-making math problems to tackle―math that isn't just kid-friendly, but actually kid-appealing. With over 100 math riddles on topics from jalapeños and submarines to roller coasters and flamingos, this book bursts with math that looks nothing like school.

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